Human error, computer trading programs, and concerns over the widening financial crisis in Europe cited as contributing factors
Origin of Wall Street’s plunge continues to elude officials (New York Times, May 8, 2010) — A day after a harrowing plunge in the stock market, federal regulators were still unable on Friday to answer the one question on every investor’s mind: What caused that near panic on Wall Street? Through the day and into the evening, officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal agencies hunted for clues amid a tangle of electronic trading records from the nation’s increasingly high-tech exchanges. But, maddeningly, the cause or causes of the markets wild swing remained elusive, leaving what amounts to a $1 trillion question mark hanging over the world’s largest, and most celebrated, stock market. … Full story
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — May 6, 2009
In the 1970s, “the swine flu broke out . . . under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter.”
— Michele Bachmann, April 27, 2009.
One-year retrospective: One year ago today, I reported that PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter gave U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann a liar “Pants on Fire” rating for her false statement, “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.” In fact, the February 1976 scare happened on the watch of Gerald Ford, a Republican — not that President Ford was blameworthy in the least; in fact, he called for a nationwide vaccination program, in which 40 million Americans were vaccinated in just 10 days.
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